Eastern Taiwan is split into the following three counties, from north to south:
The following are the most relevant cities, towns and villages from a tourist point of view:
- Dongao – Has one of the most beautiful coastal views in Yilan.
- 1 Donghe – A laid-back surfers' destination off most travellers' routes.
- 2 Dulan – A small town with an art and backpacker community, an old sugar factory, an archaeological site and surf spot.
- 3 Hualien – Touristic centre of the Hualien County and base for exploring the nearby Taroko Gorge.
- 4 Jiaoxi – Famous island-wide for it's plentiful hot spring resorts. It's also home to some great hiking trails and waterfalls.
- 5 Nanao – It has Yilan's largest aboriginal population and has a few good hiking trails.
- 6 Taitung (台東 or 臺東) – The youngest city in Taiwan and was developed by Japan as a base for Pacific expansion. Taitung's population is strongly Aboriginal, Hoklo and Hakka. It is by far one of the most laid-back, relaxing, and beautiful of Taiwan's cities.
- 7 Toucheng – A popular surfing destination, which offers spectacular sunrise views and is the disembarkation point for whale watching.
- 8 Yilan – The main city of the Yilan County, with two big department stores, YouAi and Luna Plaza, National Yilan University, a big sports park, a decent cultural centre, a small but tasty night market, and some general great eats.
Understand, see, do, etc.
See the county articles linked above for all the details.
Eastern Taiwan is connected to all other regions of Taiwan. However, only by car it is actually convenient to leave for any of these regions. If you depend on public transport, exit and entrance into Eastern Taiwan is mostly only convenient via Northern Taiwan through Yilan County in the very north, or through the most southern crossing (by railway) into Pingtung County, with 370 (slow) kilometres in between.